How to Choose an HVAC Training Class near Shellman Georgia
Once you have come to a decision on a career as a heating and cooling specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Shellman GA. But with so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one to get the training that you need? A number of potential students will make their selection based exclusively on the price of tuition or how near the school is to their residence. While these are significant considerations, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details that you need to look into are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. Those and additional criteria will be discussed in more detail later in this article. But before we discuss how to choose an HVAC training program, let’s take a look at what a heating and a/c professional does to become a licensed professional tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Pro in Shellman GA
HVAC is an acronym that is widely used in the trade that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC professionals specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are generally required to be licensed, though each state and regional municipality has its own requirements. Attaining professional certification is not required, but a voluntary means for Shellman GA HVAC techs to establish that they are highly qualified and knowledgeable in their area of specialization. There are multiple recognized certifications within the industry that are available. Following are some of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC technicians. The certification is attained by passing a proficiency exam and can be received in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification makes available both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of professional experience as well as passing a comprehensive examination are needed for the professional level certification. Master specialists must have 3 years of experience as well as a passing score on the professional level examination. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is necessary for technicians that handle refrigerants. There are 3 types of certification offered, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Considering that licensing may be required in your location, and you may also intend to acquire certification, it’s essential that you pick an HVAC vocational school that will train you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make certain that the school you pick prepares you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree Training Programs
There are a number of choices offered for HVAC instruction in a technical or vocational school. You can earn a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Acquiring a certificate will take the least period of time, usually completed in as little as six months, although some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for most HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification relevant to the position. The degree programs can provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more in-depth training than the certificate programs. Below is a short explanation of each credential offered near Shellman GA.
- Certificate. Normally requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among entry level residential or commercial HVAC technicians. They furnish a strong foundation of skills for employment within the trade.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more detailed background of heating and a/c systems than the certificate program. Generally taking 2 years to finish, a number of degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is suited more for a career in management or even business ownership. Some programs require an Associate Degree, while others are a standard four year program. In addition to being taught how to service and maintain heating and air conditioning systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the ideal credential program will be dependent on what your future career objectives are, along with the time and money that you have to commit. One approach is to begin with a certificate or perhaps an Associate Degree program, and after getting some experience in the trade in Shellman GA, later going back to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, make sure to ask the HVAC technician school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Courses
Attending an HVAC program online is one option to obtaining your education and earning a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete hands on training. A number also sponsor internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the remainder of the classes may be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more accessible solution for many Shellman GA students that are short on time. And a number of online degree programs are more economical than other on campus alternatives. Even driving expenses from Shellman and study materials may be lessened, helping to make schooling more economical. And a large number of online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your career or family commitments have left you with little time to attend classes, maybe an online HVAC degree program will make it easier to fit school into your hectic lifestyle.
Questions For HVAC Training Programs near Shellman GA
When you have selected the type of degree or certificate that you would like to earn, either on campus or online, you can start to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are numerous HVAC vocational schools in the Shellman GA area and throughout the USA to select from. That’s why it is imperative to have a list of important qualifications when making school evaluations. As earlier mentioned in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial 2 aspects you will look at. Following are several additional ones that you will want to research before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. Numerous HVAC trade schools in the Shellman GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may receive Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which pertains to a specific program, such as HVAC technology. Make sure that the program and school are accredited by a U.S. Department of Education approved accrediting agency, for instance the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. In addition to helping make certain that you acquire a superior education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Additionally, a number of states require that the HVAC training course be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Cooling schools you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It could also mean that the teachers were not competent to instruct the students. It’s similarly essential that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a more extensive directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate can not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Shellman GA HVAC employers to help students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous HVAC trade programs are taught together with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating trade and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program inside their network of HVAC businesses or trade unions. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with local Shellman GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only provides a rewarding experience by supplying practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to build relationships in the local HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Make certain that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be instructed on are state-of-the-art and what you will be using on the job. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, talk to the HVAC tech you are working under regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Shellman GA HVAC contractor if they can provide some tips. Also bear in mind that unless you are able to move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Shellman GA residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to relocation costs there might be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a few of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between instructors and students. Speak with a few of the students and get their opinions regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to a few of the instructors and find out what their level of experience is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are evaluating are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to go to classes at night or on weekends near Shellman GA, check that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only attend on a part-time basis, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any because of work, sickness or family emergencies.
Attending HVAC School near Shellman GA?
Shellman is a city in Randolph County, Georgia, United States. The population was 1,166 at the 2000 census. Buildings in the commercial center have been designated as an historic district and listed in 1985 on the National Register of Historic Places.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,166 people, 407 households, and 297 families residing in the city. The population density was 369.8 people per square mile (142.9/km²). There were 465 housing units at an average density of 147.5 per square mile (57.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 30.53% White, 68.87% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.17% Pacific Islander, and 0.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.43% of the population.
There were 407 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.8% were married couples living together, 27.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% were non-families. 24.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.45.
Choose the Right HVAC Training Course near Shellman GA
Finding the ideal HVAC training course is a crucial beginning toward a rewarding career in the heating & cooling industry. As we have covered in this post, you need to pick a school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the HVAC field. Other factors to look for are plenty of practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools personally that you are most interested in to inspect the campus and talk with both the faculty and current students. Try to get a feel for the quality of the training and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling choices and whether night or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options too. If you ask the appropriate questions as we have outlined in our checklist for evaluating schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an informed decision. With the right training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Shellman GA.
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